Last time when I visited Shanghai, it was 2010 during Shanghai Expo. I wasn't impressed on Shanghai at all. All I remembered about Shanghai was hot, humid, and dirty. Well, we have known about how Chinese people can misbehave, it still has not changed.
I got an oppournity to attend a conference in Shnaghai at the end of April. Technically, when I knew about the conference, I had to get it, and I got it. However, it was not planned well. I was supposed to go with my coteacher, Ms. S, but her application of China visa got denied. Less than two weeks, we needed to find another person to fill in, so my another coworker, Mr. B, was asked to go with me. I had already decided to go to Shanghai Disneyland before the conference. Knowing Mr. B is a huge fan of Disneyland, I knew we would have a great time.
I have known Mr. B for one and half years. He is really charming, handsome, and like a gentleman. I don't know him well. We say hi when we see each other, dance in the school dance, act in the same house, and be in the same department. Before this trip, we never had any deep or personal conversation. I guessed because he is 8 years old younger than me, different generations, and also I am married. Honestly, I was so glad he went with me. I mean who didn't want to travel with a handsome guy like him? Ha!
A funny fact about Mr. B is he falls asleep in the car in less 7 minutes. Why do I know abou this? Because I used a stopwatch to prove him that he fell asleep in less than 5 minutes. Well, it was not 5 minutes, but pretty close. He can even stand and sleep at the same time. I just couldn't believe someone would fall asleep that easily.
Even though I was the one who planned out eveything, he was nice to let me go wherever I wanted. It was less stress. That's why I think he is the best traveling companion ever.
Our first day in Shanghai, we went to Disneyland as planned. When we arrived at Disneyland, it was about three o'clock in the afternoon, so we only had baout five and half hours to be in Disneyland. Before the trip, Mr. B asked me what I wanted to eat in Disneyland, and I said I wanted to eat Mickey Mouse popsicle. Walking around the park, he saw a stand selling Mickey and Minnie Mouse popsicles, and got us popsicles. He got Mickey Mouse which was chocolate flavor. I got Minnie Mouse because it was white chocolate, and he was surprised that I don't like chocolate. Tron is the most exciting ride in Shanghai Disneyland. I wanted to ride it, but I was terrified. We went to sigle rider lane because it was less time to wait. I was a little bit disappointed becasue we would not ride together. Anyway, it was absoutely a fun ride. He even took my picture which showed I was nervous. Ha! Later on, we were having dinner, not in a restaurant, a food stand near Pirates of Caribbean. Guessed what he ordered? A seafood churros! It was delicous! While we were sitting down and eating, that's when we started our conversation. He has been to Disneyworld (the one in Florida) three times, and Tokyo Disneyland just last summer. I remembered we were talking about our childhood memories, he never smokes in his entire life, and we both have no tattos. We walked to our last ride of the night, Soaring over the horizon. We waited in the line, talked about students, friends, college life, and how we got our jobs, etc. It was nice talking to him about everything. I felt we probably have known each other for a long time. Finally, we were on our seats and buckling up. I told him from the bottom of my heart, "I am so glad you came with me."
Second day in Shanghai, we attended the conference. It was a bad day. My coworker forgot to cover my class, and my students didn't report it. Secretary sent me message that school hadn't paid the registration fees for the conference, and wanted me to wire transfer the money immediately. The problem was we were in the middle of the conference, and we were attending without paying! We had already talked about going to downtown after the conference, so we skipped the reception and took the metro to downtown. We ate in a Hong Kong cusine restaurant. I ordered him pork ears and cow stomach without telling him what they were. He was brave enough to try them. Gosh! He is really the most awesome companion ever! During the dinner, he finally opened up about his love life. He dated a girl for five years, but she borke up with him when they were in college. He admitted the distance was the main reason. He talked about he wants to get married and have children. He just wants to give his love to a girl he loves. I teased him because he overthought too much. He didn't deny, However, he said he does enjoy being single. I told him about how I met with Aaron; how much I didn't like Aaron at beginning. Also, I mentioned about Jared. I didn't say his name, but I told him that Jared didn't want to change who he was, so we didn't work out. Honestly, after those years, I think about him sometimes. I always wonder how he has been. Sometimes I got a bit of information from his mother, knowing he is doing well. Yet, I still feel hurt a little bit in my heart. Maybe I was overthinking about any possibility between us. It is over now. We are happy about our lives. Later that night, we walked to Shanghai Tower. Shanghai Tower is currently the second tallest building in the world. We were amazed by how tall the building is. While walking together, I noticed we both walked the same pace. I didn't know he was slow down for me or I was fast to catch up with him. On the top of the Shanghai Tower, you can mail postcards from there. He bought two postcards and two stamps. When he got the stamps, he said, "Let's do it together." He gave me one stamp and one post card, and he got the others. We both licked the stamps and glued it on the postcards. I had to admit, it was a bit weird doing this, licking a stamp, glued it, but the postcard was for his family. Seeing him writing postcards to his family was sweet. He even mentioned my name in both postcards. I really appreciated him doing that. We were so tired the night before, so we couldn't go to the bar in the hotel. After taking metro back to hotel, we decided to go to the bar. Aaron called when we were in the bar, and of course he was surprised I was drinking. I don't drink. I choose not to drink because of my two times kidney infection may have damaged my kidneys. But, I couldn't avoid peer pressure, I ordered myself Mai Tai, and it turned out not strong at all. I had to get our drinks back to the bartender to add more liquor. We were laughing about his yearbook pictures. He said I should smile bigger. Then, we had those deep and personal conversation that we never had before. It was a long day, but I had fun to be with him.
Day three in Shanghai, our last day in this amazing city. We went to the conference, but decided to skip the closing ceremony. We walked to The Brew to eat lunch. I just couldn't handle peer pressure well. Mr. B suggested we should order drinks, so I ordered a glass of ciders for myslef. I was worried that I might get dissy or drunk because I hadn't eaten anything before drinking. He asked me, "Am I tipsy?" Well, I guessed a little bit. It was sort bittersweet on the last day. Knowing our Shanghai Holidays were coming to the end. We both wish we could stay for one more day. We were back to the downtown again, but this time was the other site of the river, the Bund. While we were in the metro, I saw his reflection through the window, he was looking at me. Well, I really didn't know he was looking at me or he was falling asleep while holding the bar. There were a couple of times that he turned around and said, "Did you say anything?" Of course not, I said. Now I recalled my memory, I really should look at him, too. I just wondered what his reaction would be. He asked me, what I wanted to do if we stayed for one more day. I siad, I would love to have a tea time in the famous Fairmont Peace Hotel. After sightseeing at the Bund, we just walked to the Fairmont Peace Hotel. We sat down in the cafe, he ordered ice coffee, and I ordered English Breakfast tea. I was surprised that he has already paid off his student loan. He applied a lot of scholarships, and he even went to plasma every two weeks to make 65 dollars for living. I just can't believe at age 25, he has no debt. The restroom in the hotel lobby is next to a ball room. When he went to the restroom, he saw people dancing. Another fun fact about Mr. B, he loves dancing. He is really a great dancer. He immediately said, we have to do it. Slow dancing is something that I am not good at. I love dancing, but I am clumsy in slow dancing. Thank god, when we tried to get in the ball room, the music stopped, so I was relieved that I didn't show him how clumsy I am. We went to the Peace Hotel Museum upstairs. I wrote down both our Chinese names on the sign in book. A record of us was left in Shanghai.
Why did I name this journal as Shanghai Holidays? Because our three days adeventure in shanghai was like the movie, Roman Holidays. We created and shared memories, but in reality, we are still us. We are impossible. None of us will never ever cross the line. None of us will think what will happen becasue it will NEVER happen. Now, we are back to where we are before. We don't see each other often. We barely have any conversation. We are back to be just coworkers status. It is sad that we can't be like we were in shanghai. Time goes by. Life moves on. I will probably forget what we experienced. I hope not, but I may.